Last Updated: March 27, 2024, 14:06 IST

Acting US Deputy Ambassador was seen outside MEA on Wednesday. (Screengrab from ANI footage)

Acting US Deputy Ambassador was seen outside MEA on Wednesday. (Screengrab from ANI footage)

India summons US Deputy Ambassador over concerns on State Department’s comments about Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest, reiterating its stance on interference in internal affairs

India summoned Acting US Deputy Ambassador Gloria Berbena on Wednesday to address concerns regarding comments made by the State Department over the recent arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Expressing its “strong displeasure,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty of others and casting aspersions on a country’s legal process is unwarranted.

“We take strong objection to the remarks of the Spokesperson of the US State Department about certain legal proceedings in India. In diplomacy, states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others. This responsibility is even more so in the case of fellow democracies. It could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents. India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes. Casting aspersions on that is unwarranted,” MEA said in a statement, shortly after Berbena was seen outside the ministry’s office in New Delhi.

This development comes a few days after Georg Enzweiler, German Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi, was summoned on Saturday to convey India’s strong protest regarding their Foreign Office Spokesperson’s comments on its internal affairs. “We see such remarks as interfering in our judicial process and undermining the independence of our judiciary,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement on March 23.

“India is a vibrant and robust democracy with the rule of law. As in all legal cases in the country, and elsewhere in the democratic world, law will take its own course in the instant matter. Biased assumptions made on this account are most unwarranted,” the statement added. India’s statement came after a German Foreign Ministry spokesperson had “taken note” of Kejriwal’s arrest. “We assume and expect that the standards relating to the independence of the Judiciary and basic democratic principles will also be applied in this case,” the German official had said.

Earlier, in response to a query about the Keriwal case, a US State Department spokesperson said, “We encourage a fair, transparent, and timely legal process for Chief Minister Kejriwal.” The Enforcement Directorate earlier this month arrested Kejriwal after the high court refused to grant him protection from coercive action by the federal anti-money laundering agency. The case pertains to the alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 which was later scrapped.

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